Why Glasgow's street art is a must-see!
Updated: Mar 3
1. Great photo opportunities
There are many Instagramable locations and great photo opportunities in Glasgow, many of which are related to street art. One of the most popular pieces of street art for a good photograph is the Honey I Shrunk the Kids mural. The mural, which is just a short walk from the busy Buchannan Street, was inspired by Joe Johnston’s 1989 film ‘Honey I shrunk the kids’ It shows the image of a girl with a magnifying glass who appears to be picking up an object off the street, and if you stand under it in the correct position, it looks like the girl is about to pick you up. Painted by Australian contemporary artist Sam Bates, also known as Smug, this mural brightens up an otherwise dull lane and is part of the official mural street tour.
2. Start a conversation
The stunning street art of Glasgow makes for a good conversation. Walking around you can see lots of little hints to an artist's interpretation of something, but what do these hints really mean? Is it a nod to someone they know? The story behind the piece? There's so much to discuss!
3. Learn about Glasgow's culture
Although you may think the street art is only pleasing to look at, there is also a lot of useful information and culture behind many of the pieces. For example, the wind power mural which is located on Mitchell Street is not just nice to look at, but also has an important hidden message. It follows an eco-friendly theme and shows a girl blowing on a dandelion, as she blows the seeds turn to wind turbines. As well as brightening up the lane, the mural reminds and hopefully encourages people that being sustainable is an option and raises awareness of being environmentally conscious. A lot of the art around the city has a deeper meaning.
These types of street art not only look beautiful and captivate those who visit, but also educate them.
5. Good sense of Glasgow
Doing a tour of the street art in Glasgow gives you a good sense of the city and the stories behind its people. A lot of the murals show the typical Scottish humour, such as the ‘Are Ye Dancin’ mural located at the entrance to Sloans bar on Argyle Street. Many of the murals also give an insight into some of Scotland’s most famous faces, paying tribute to the Duke of Wellington, Billy Connolly, Mary Barbour, Stan Lee and local faces too.
Seeing the real faces of Glasgow and learning about their stories tells you a lot about why our slogan is "People Make Glasgow".
6. See different parts of the cities
By exploring the different street art murals you will find yourself in part of Glasgow you wouldn’t have thought to go originally. There are so many murals dotted all over the city, in the Merchant City, the West End, the South Side, the Gorbals...
This is a great way to find those hidden bars, cafes and restaurants that are spread around the city. Visiting the street art murals is a quick way to see lots of Glasgow for those who are hear for a short time.
7. Active and outdoors
Walking around even just a few of the street art murals is a great way to get your steps in for the day. There are many different murals to visit and if you are brave enough to visit them all then you will have a great reason to have a cheat day after. Glasgow is known for being quite hilly and it is usually recommended for people to wear comfy shoes as there is a bit of walking involved. This is great for those rare sunny days that Glasgow has as the murals are outdoors, but many people still visit them in the rainy days as they are more common, and people still want to see them.
8. Discover artists
The street are murals are painted by many different artists. Some artists are known for contributing to a few of the murals in Glasgow and are sometime easily recognised by the style that they like to use. Visiting and finding out about the murals allows you to find out about great and famous artists in Glasgow and can then lead you to other paintings and art they have completed. For art lovers this is a great way to discover artists and maybe even purchase some of their work after visiting.
I hope we’ve convinced you to have a gander around some of the street art in Glasgow. You can do this by yourself using the City Centre Mural Trail, or you can join us on one of our Street Art Tours to learn tons about the artists and inspiration behind the murals. You can see full information of the tour here: www.walkingtoursin.com/street-art-tour